Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate relationships, acknowledge blessings, and to find opportunities to help others. The following activities are a fun and creative approach that will highlight the importance of being thankful and giving back to others.
What would a Thanksgiving blog be without the iconic Turkey Activity?! Like many of you, I too have done the traditional turkey hand activity for years with my students. I made a few tweaks and turned this individual activity into a group activity.
I took one large styrofoam ball and wrapped it in brown yarn to make the turkey’s body. I then took a smaller styrofoam ball and wrapped it in red yarn to create the turkey’s head. I attached both styrofoam balls using toothpicks. I used a feather template to trace and cut out several different feathers on fun scrapbooking paper.
Each child then writes something he or she is thankful for on the back of his or her feather. Next tape a toothpick to the back of each feather. Each child will share his or her feather with the group and add their feather to the turkey. Together the group has created a thankful turkey!
After admiring several festive holiday wreaths in my neighborhood, I decided to create my own. Personally, the wreath symbolizes a warm welcome to visitors and an acknowledgement of the arrival of a season full of love and the spirit of giving. I am extremely passionate about providing opportunities for children to reflect on the positive in their lives and in turn find a way to positively impact the lives of others. This wreath activity is the perfect combination of both goals.
I found a wire wreath frame at Hobby Lobby and some fun turkey feathers. I had several bags of clothespins and various colors of spray-paint left over from a previous project. I spray-painted the clothespins to add a much needed punch of color. Each child is given one clothespin and a marker once the clothespins are dry. On one side of the clothespin the child will write something he or she is thankful for and on the other side the child will write one thing he or she can do to help someone else. Next you will attach each clothespin to the inner-most ring of the wire wreath. The body of the clothespin should cover up the wire frame. Once all of the clothespins have been clipped onto the wreath you can decorate it using feathers or other crafting materials. Make sure to send home each child’s clothespin before the Thanksgiving break. The clothespin serves as a reminder of the child’s many blessings and the opportunity they have to impact the life of someone else.
There is no better place to express your gratitude than at the dinner table. Each student will create his or her own placemat expressing everything he or she is thankful for having in their life. You may use scrapbooking paper, construction paper, paper plates, napkins, stickers, feathers, etc. Once the placemat is complete you will laminate it and cut it out.